The health crisis has made customers appreciate their work more and are more tolerant
Alejandra Pérez and María Mendoza are exposed to the coronavirus every day in their work as cashiers at the Northgate González Markets in the Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles. However, knowing that they are recognized and valued during the epidemic fills them with courage to not miss their essential journey.
These Latina women are among the millions of essential workers who have not stopped working during quarantine and cannot work from home, as they have to go to their workplace..
The cashiers of the markets in particular, are in contact for hours with hundreds of consumers. Some of them refuse to wear masks or some form of protection.
Alejandra Pérez has been working as a cashier since 2017. She is single, 22 years old and lives in the city of Downey in Los Angeles County. His work hours are from 7 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon.
"At the beginning of the pandemic, people were very panicked. I panic myself. I did not know how to respond. People came and bought things without knowing"Says Alejandra.
He says that there was a week that even his own colleagues were mortified by a possible closure of the store. "Thank God it was not so and we continue here."
Now while there is still concern, he says that everything seems to be returning to normal.
You are assured that your company has provided you with masks, gloves, and asks you to wash your hands every 30 minutes.
He also comments that people have changed their attitude. "90% of customers come in a good mood. They treat us well. A lot of people say, 'Thank you for being here.' I appreciate that and I really like it ”.
Alejandra hopes that feeling that her work is recognized by consumers has helped her work with more enthusiasm.
"I love helping people, and it makes me feel safe to be appreciated."
He says that the product they continue to carry the most is water. "If we have lines to enter the store, but they run fast"
She only asks customers to be patient during the pandemic when they go shopping. "We are not going anywhere."
From despair to calm
María Mendoza has been working at Northgate González Markets for six years. He has gone through several departments, but during the health contingency he has had to be in the box.
Like Alejandra, she says that at the beginning of the health crisis, it was very stressful. "The customers all came frightened to the store, as if the world was going to end. They came from bad and desperate"
They were relieved when the company gave them gloves, masks, and installed a plastic barrier on the boxes. "At night they clean all the apartments very well, and these measures make us feel cared for."
Her safety is very important because she is married and is the mother of five children of 16, 11, 6, 3 and 2 years who are waiting anxiously for her at home.
“When I arrive I take off my shoes and clothes. I put everything in bags in a sealed basket. I take a bath, and if I bring errands, I go out and start washing and storing all the food. ”
Her husband, who is in charge of caring for the home and children because he lost his job, locks up the minors when she arrives home. "It is so that they do not approach me and I will not infect them. Since I bathe and clean, they can go out now ”.
María says that something very curious happened to her, since shortly before the coronavirus crisis broke out, she became very ill from the flu and was hospitalized. "I was isolated for days without knowing the world."
When he recovered and his COVID-19 tests came back negative, he was surprised to see the magnitude of the emergency. "The stores were packed. It was as if people had gone mad and thought that the world was ending. They despaired of going in to buy"
Almost two months after the order was issued Stay at home, says that customers are calmer and more tolerant.
“They understand that the rules of social distance in supermarkets are for their safety and ours. They have more space to buy, without rushing. "
When asked for his opinion on the recognition he has given them as essential workers, he says that it makes him a little sad.
"People should have noticed that our job has always been to serve them and give them a good face, even when they come in bad or frustrated.s. Today they say, thank you for being here, and cleaning our carts. They are realizing that what we do does matter and is worth it. ”
Their work was not easy during the epidemic, but they like the change in the customer's attitude. “Customers are more cautious and friendly. They no longer see us in anger. Before, some even yelled at us. Now they are on our side and they treat us well. ”
The shift from consumers to supermarket employees with a greater tolerance and empathy, has made Maria happy to get to work and want to.
“I only ask you to be patient with the new rules. We will continue to be open, helping the community. For that we are".